Exploring physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in Japan: a qualitative study

Takashi Shimazaki, Misa Iio, Ying Hua Lee, Kayo Konuma, Koji Takenaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has shown that physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility (i.e. a focus on small lifestyle changes) contributes to the adoption of and long-term success in behavior change intervention. The present study aims to explore the physical activity with a low psychological burden and high feasibility in which people already engage in their everyday life in Japan. Sixty-four participants (22 males and 42 females ranging in age from 36 to 89) participated in a qualitative research survey that asked what type of physical activity they engaged in on a daily basis to maintain good health. Results of a thematic analysis revealed nine themes (behavioral categories), which included four core themes of exercise, gymnastic exercises, stretch exercises, sports, and strength training, and five core themes of nonexercise activity, walking, cleaning, using the stairs, engaging in agriculture, and gardening based on a description analysis. A thematic map was constructed based on Japanese physical activity guidelines. Key findings of this study are as follows: (1) walking has a low psychological burden and high feasibility; (2) gymnastic exercise is efficacious from a physical and psychological perspective; (3) nonexercise activities are more acceptable than exercise activities; and (4) a focus on intervention with nonexercise activities has the potential for high engagement in the Japanese population. The study indicates that significant resources are available for promoting health behavior change interventions that would increase physical activity in the Japanese population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1015
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 16

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • behavior
  • exercise
  • feasibility
  • small lifestyle change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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